From the sidelines
There are no games during Christmas break. So, we've put together some background information for your holiday reading.
This week, I've profiled the boys and girls basketball head coaches and compiled some notes on each of the Kaw Valley League basketball teams.
Next week, you'll be able to read about Bill DeWitt, varsity wrestling coach, and about KVL wrestling teams.
Coach: Dan Miller, second season
Assistant coaches: Dwight Spencer, Mardi Robinson
The Bobcats finished 6-15 last season and return three starters and six letter-winners.
Jackie Horn, junior forward; Kara Reed, senior guard; Kelly Laffere, junior guard; Jeni Purtee, junior forward; Jenny Lynn, senior center; and Stephanie Schlagel, senior guard, will be among the team's top players.
Coach: Don Hills, 12th season
Assistant coaches: Bruce Courtney, Jason Grider
The Bobcats have three players who started some games last season on a 11-12 squad.
Travis Fouts, junior center; Brad Breuer, senior forward; John Hills, senior guard; Mitch Hancock, senior forward; Josh Magaha, senior forward; Jason Schrick, senior guard; and Mike Gripka, senior guard, are among the top returning players.
Jackie Kimlin, junior forward, and Mike Horn, junior center, could also make an impact.
DeSoto girls basketball
Coach: Mark Peck, 13th season
Assistant coaches: Matt Bohm, Rick Rogers
DeSoto finished 11-10 last season in sixth place in the league.
Erica Francis, senior forward/center, and Tiffany Bernard, junior forward/guard, should help lead the team.
They'll be joined by Tia Bernard, sophomore guard; Ashley Carlson, sophomore guard; Josey Pratt, sophomore center; Elizabeth Biggers, junior forward/center; and Sarah Robinson, senior guard.
DeSoto boys basketball
Coach: Sean Reilly, first season
Assistant coaches: Justin Bogart, Wayne Smith, Ben Boothe
DeSoto returns one starter from last year.
Top returners include Cody Ptacek, sophomore guard; Jason Andrews, junior guard; Dominique Burgin, junior forward; and Josh Gooden, senior forward/center.
Joey Fitzgerald, junior forward, and Aaron Ray, senior forward, could make an impact.
Immaculata girls basketball
Coach: Greg Hohensinner, 20th season
Assistant coaches: Randy Shoaf, Jason Graf
Immaculata adds youth to two returning starters from last year's team that finished 17-7 and qualified for the 3A state tournament.
Cory Shoaf and Sarah Lawson give Hohensinner's team senior leadership, although, he said he expects the team to make mistakes because of its youth.
K.C. Bassett is a freshman phenom. Sophomores Erin Dolan, Ashly Hoins, Nancy McKinley and Charlotte Kersten will all play a role in the success or failure of the Raiders.
Immaculata boys basketball
Coach: Mike Connelly
Assistant coaches: Dan Schmidt, Chris Elliott, Tom McEvoy. The Raiders finished fourth in 3A state last season and were ranked fifth when they beat Tonganoxie on Dec. 17.
Immaculata returns one starter and five letter winners. Sam Leintz, senior forward; Ahmad Ashkar, senior guard; John McEvoy, sophomore center/forward; and Tom Steinmetz, junior guard, are the top returning players.
Armim Kaka, senior forward/center, could also contribute.
Lansing girls basketball
Coach: Les Rader, first season
Assistant coaches: Melanie Enneking, Errol Logue
With only four returning letterwinners and two starters, new coach Rader will have to work hard to rebuild a team that finished 14-7 and fourth in the league last year.
Carah Medill, senior guard; Katelin Meyers, junior center; Natasha Turner, junior center; and Cassie Water, senior guard, should lead the team.
Lansing boys basketball
Coach: Don Allen, third season
Assistant coaches: Dan Wessel, George Kersten
Lansing has no returning starters and only two letterwinners from last years' 9-12 team.
John Van Daley, senior guard; Gregg Gardner, senior forward; Micah Cornett, junior guard; Ricky Rierson, junior forward; and Patrick Wilson, junior forward, will lead the team.
Thomas Davis, sophomore guard; Jeff Hearn, sophomore center; Cole Garski, sophomore guard; and Joey McKee, sophomore forward, could also contribute.
Perry-Lecompton girls basketball
Coach: Frank Harwood, second season
Assistant coaches: Alan Neal, Theresa Beatty
No starters and only two letterwinners return from a team that finished 1-20 last season.
The Kaws will look to returners Kristin Hertlein, senior guard, and Nicole Franz, senior forward, for leadership.
Newcomers include Shannon Wilson, freshman forward; Amber Williams, junior forward; Holly Kohlmeyer, junior guard; Anna Bricker, senior guard; and Rebecca Jeffries, junior forward.
Piper girls basketball
Coach: Jim Baker, second season
Assistant coaches: Alan Weatherford, Amy Weaver
The Pirates finished 12-9 in third place in the league.
Three starters and nine letterwinners return. Jessica Shepler, senior forward, and Rachelle Wever, senior guard should lead the team.
"This year, nobody's going to go undefeated in the league," Baker predicted.
Piper Boys basketball
Coach: Dave Hall, eighth season
Assistant coaches: Chant Stuewe, Kent Hockathorn
The Pirates have two starters and four letterwinners from last season's 13-8 team that finished second in the league.
Jeff Zimmerman, senior forward/center; Jacob Kavanaugh, junior guard; Scott Maslak, senior guard/forward; and Jacob Kaminski, junior guard/forward, could lead the team.
Lorenzo Lasley, sophomore forward; Kyle Anderson, senior forward/center; Jeff Waltsak, senior forward/center; Keith Custer, junior guard/forward; and Chris Hargis, sophomore, guard/forward, could also contribute.
Santa Fe Trail girls basketball
Coach: Brenda Dahl, first year
Assistant coaches: Brian Biermann, Tracy Dunnaway
The state runner-ups return all five starters and 11 letterwinners.
Cassie Augustine, senior guard; Ranell Ullery, senior forward/guard; Brooke Terhune, senior forward; Jami Sleichter, junior forward; Trudy Carter, senior center; and Janelle Arnold, sophomore guard, return for the Chargers.
Maggie Apodaca, junior guard/forward; Leslie Wundeman, sophomore forward; and Erika Kraus, senior center, could also contribute to a return run at the state title.
Santa Fe Trail boys basketball
Coach: Brian Luther, seventh season
Assistant coaches: John Deitrich, Trent Dean
The Chargers return eight letterwinners from a 10-11 team that placed third in the league.
Jeremiah Rice, senior center; Luke Fulton, senior guard; Greg Wurdeman, senior center; Craig Bourne, junior guard; Nolan Deitrich, junior guard; Ryan Roberts, junior center; and Brian Mott, junior center, are expected to lead the team.
Matt Johnson, junior guard; Dustin Baldwin, junior guard; and Justin Ramsdell, sophomore center, could also contribute.